By Natalie Johnson / firstname.lastname@example.org
An 18-year-old high school student in Winlock has been charged after police received reports of him pursuing and conducting sexual relationships with girls as young as 11 years old.
Tyler T. Voie, 18, of Winlock, was charged Tuesday in Lewis County Superior Court with one count of first-degree child rape and five counts of second-degree child rape.
Both first- and second-degree child rape are class A felonies punishable by a maximum of life in prison.
The charge of first-degree child rape involves a girl born in 2005. The offense allegedly occurred in 2017 a few days before her 12th birthday.
The five counts of second-degree child rape involve allegations from 2016 of sexual contact with a girl who was 12 years old when Voie was 17.
Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Joel DeFazio asked for $150,000 bail at Voie’s first court appearance Tuesday, citing the number of criminal charges as well as the age of the alleged victims.
“This is purely a public safety concern given what is alleged here,” he said.
Defense attorney Rachael Tiller, representing Voie at his first hearing, asked for his release, citing his lack of criminal history.
Superior Court Judge Joely O’Rourke granted the prosecutor’s request.
“It’s a predatory offense, allegedly,” she said.
She also ruled that, if released, Voie will not be allowed to have contact with any children.
According to court documents, police recently began investigating Voie’s actions after receiving a report that he sent a sexually explicit message on social media to a 13-year-old girl at Winlock Middle School.
Voie, 18, is a high school student.
An officer spoke with the girl, who reported that another girl, age 12, was involved in the message conversation and said that girl had previously had sexual relations with Voie.
That girl is the alleged victim in the first-degree rape case. She was 11 at the time of the incident. Her mother reported the incident to police.
Police also contacted a third girl, now 13, who reported having a sexual relationship with Voie in February 2016 when she was 12 and he was 17.
When police contacted Voie, he reportedly admitted to the contact with the third girl and said he knew her age, “but did not think the age between them to be an issue,” according to court documents.
Voie’s next hearing is scheduled for Jan. 11.